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Guide to the best tripods and tripod heads for wildlife photography
Reading time: 10 minutes - March 27, 2024 - by Markus Igel

The best tripods for video / content creation

Following our guide to the best tripods for wildlife photography, we are now continuing the series with the best tripods for video production. Here, too, there are various requirements for tripods that need to be met; in addition to tripods for cameras, there are also tripods for lamps / lights.

The perfect video tripod

Video cameras are now smaller and lighter than they used to be, but even now we may still need to mount the cameras in a rig, cage and accessories as well as the lens can have a significant impact on the weight.

Most tripods have a fairly high load capacity without really having to take the characteristics into consideration. In the case of tripods, a professional video tripod differs from a conventional tripod in the construction of the legs, which are more stable (double tube tripod) and the feet are usually adjustable in the tilt angle to produce a good contact surface to the ground.

To get started, a normal tripod or even a monopod will certainly be fine, but it is important to use a fluid video head to enable nice panning movements.

The center spider is used with video tripods to align the video head at an angle so that it is aligned straight on the tripod because, unlike the ball head, the fluid video head cannot swivel in the vertical axis from left to right

Infographic illustrating the video head functions. (Tripod has a spider that could be used to compensate for tilting, but not shown here for illustrative purposes)
Sirui broadcast tripod with video panhead SH-25
  • Broadcast tripod starter SH-25
  • with video panhead - SH series
  • Aluminum / GRP (fiberglass)
  • Load capacity up to 10 kg
  • large twist locks
  • long swivel arm
  • adjustable friction
SmallRig 3989 FreeBlazer Heavy-Duty Carbon Video Tripod Kit
  • designed for video recordings
  • Height: 85 - 186 cm
  • loadable up to 8 kg
  • 90° center column for perfect shots every time
  • Aluminum alloy
  • Weight: 4 kg

Sirui Broadcasting tripod BCT-3003

  • Aluminum in 3 sections
  • Permanently installed 100mm leveling half-shell
  • Double tube legs with large twist locks
  • Freely adjustable leg angles without locking steps - can be fixed with tripod spiders
  • Tripod spiders infinitely adjustable - rubberized floor spider
  • Double spikes or rubber feet for a firm hold in the ground

Sirui Broadcasting Tripod BCT-3003

  • with fliplocks + Stand spreader suitable for video and photographers
  • 4 sections
  • Height with base: 65 - 160 cm
  • Height without base: 54 - 149 cm
  • max. load capacity: 12 kg
Tripod for camcorders and Cinema-Line cameras

Ulanzi X Coman Zero Y Carbon tripod

  • 6-step height adjustment
  • Material: Carbon
  • Maximum working height 156cm
  • max. load capacity: 18 kg

Manfrotto STATIV 055XPRO3

  • 90° center column system
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Maximum working height 170cm
  • max. load capacity: 9 kg

The right video head

There are actually only video heads with or without fluid. However, we generally recommend the fluid video head version, as the adjustable resistance means that panning and tilting is easier to control and looks much smoother.

Benro video panhead S6PRO

  • Pan and tilt lock
  • Magnesium alloy with 3/8 inch threaded mount
  • Load capacity up to 6 kg

Manfrotto Nitrotech 612 fluid video head

  • Counterbalance system up to 12 kg
  • Variable continuous fluid system
  • Quick side locking mechanism
  • illuminated level bubble for absolutely precise alignment
  • Load capacity 12 kg

Manfrotto 502 Pro fluid video panhead

  • Counterbalance system up to 4 kg
  • Variable continuous fluid system
  • Sliding plate for quick attachment of the camera
  • illuminated level bubble for absolutely precise alignment
  • Load capacity 7 kg

Leofoto Fluid video head BV-15

  • high-quality 2-way panhead/video head
  • Drag adjustable for tilting and panning
  • long operating arm
  • 360° panning range
  • 2 level bubble

The right accessories

A tripod is already an important accessory for every videographer, but there are some interesting gadgets that you may not have had on your radar at the beginning.

Long tripod plate as a counterbalance for long telephoto focal lengths, so that the weight on the head can be better balanced and the camera does not change angle on its own. It is important to note whether the tripod head has an ARCA-SWISS system or a Manfrotto plate system.

Castors for the tripod allow you to convert your video tripod into a dolly and thus enable smaller or more mobile camera movements.

Falcon Eyes Duty stand trolley PT-80 Universa

  • Trolley
  • particularly suitable for heavy tripods
  • max. spread position of an attached tripod: 90 cm, minimum 50 cm

Manfrotto Video tripod trolley

  • Extremely robust tripod trolley
  • For the use of large video tripods
  • 127mm large tires with cable guide
  • Foldable for transportation

Lamp tripods and what are the differences

There are four different versions: a classic tripod, which has three folding legs. These differ in whether the three legs are on the ground or connected to a central strut.

Godox 290F Heavy Duty Light Stand 283cm

  • max. height 286 cm
  • Carrying weight 5 kg

Walimex pro GN-806 lamp tripod

  • Classic or ground-level tripod adjustment possible
  • High-quality finish and clever detail solutions
  • Quick and easy to set up
  • Stable and highly resilient

The C-Stand

The next tripod is a C-Stand, these are the most expensive light stands and also some of the most stable prosumer (pro consumer) products on the market. The C-Stand is characterized by the fact that the legs can be adjusted individually, which makes them quite compact for storage, but much more exciting for use over different heights such as a staircase can be set up much safer.

Falcon Eyes with boom CS-2450 245 cm

  • robust tripod
  • max. height: 245 cm
  • min. Height: 115 cm
  • rotating tripod legs also allow use in front of walls

Falcon Eyes with boom CS-2450 245 cm

  • Rollei professional lamp tripod Steel v2
  • can be used as a boom or lamp tripod
  • rotating tripod legs also allow use in front of walls
  • infinitely adjustable height from 147.5 to 320 cm
  • maximum rotation + swivel capability
  • max. load capacity of 20 kg

Godox 270CS C Stand with Arm + Grip Head 270cm

  • removable grip head
  • detachable Turtle Base
  • Boom arm approx. 95 cm
  • max. height 270 cm
  • Carrying weight 10 kg
  • rotating tripod legs also allow use in front of walls

The boom stand

The boom stand is more or less another function of a lamp tripod, you certainly know the function from a camera tripod, you can convert the center column into the horizontal depending on the tripod, a boom stand can in principle tilt a part of the tripod and thus the light over the head.

Rollei professional boom stand

  • quick and easy assembly and disassembly
  • adjustable height between 108 and 280 cm
  • high-quality and stable construction
  • has an air suspension system
  • made from robust aluminum
  • quick and stepless size adjustment
  • suitable for studio flashes
  • Spigot adapter available for the use of additional accessories

Godox LB 02 light stand

  • max. height: 180 cm
  • max. tube thickness: 34.5 mm
  • min. Tube thickness: 29.5 mm
  • Segments: 2
  • Length: 265 cm
  • Counterweight bag: 4 kg

The Autopole

The last type is a pole, usually called an Autopole, which is braced to the ceiling or wall. Apart from its length, it is very compact and can be used to save space. In combination with Super Clamps, lamps can also be attached here.

Manfrotto Autopole Black, 2.10 - 3.70

  • Rubber caps at the ends for better grip
  • compact, perfect for smaller spaces
  • Autopoles made of aluminum for long service life
  • Extends to an amazing height of up to 370 cm
  • Pack size 2.1 m
  • safe and easy to use

Walimex pro Autopole 220-380 cm incl. super clamp

  • particularly stable Autopole made of robust aluminum, which is also suitable for heavier backgrounds and lamps
  • Rubber caps at both ends ensure a secure stand and prevent the Autopole from slipping
  • includes super clamp for secure attachment of a light

Our conclusion

If you shoot a lot of interviews, sports footage etc., you can't do without a good video tripod, as it requires less force and is quieter than working with a gimbal. Gimbals are great for dynamic moving shots, but if you need to shoot for several hours and want to be quite steady or predictable, you should use a static tripod and possibly use several camera angles.

Another argument in favor of a video tripod is that the use of telephoto focal lengths works better and can be adjusted more smoothly than would be possible with a gimbal.

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